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Lion Disc Space Disappearing - Not sure why.

956 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 23, 2011 2:08 PM by Rasuul RSS
Rasuul Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 6, 2011 11:07 AM

I'm sorry, I know there /must/ be a thread on this already, but for the life of me the search on this forum never seems to reveal anything until I've posted a question (if at all). So I do apologize to those of you who dedicatedly sift through each of these posts.


Since upgrading to Lion, disc space has started vanishing. I have not made any major downloads and do not have much to begin with. I already store my iPhotos & iTunes on an external (well, the bulk of them - I've not found a means of consolidating two librairies yet, would be interested if anyone knows how I can do that, short of manual pain).


Twice now, I've ditched folders that contain ~10GB (for a total of >20GB), but shortly thereafter, and without replacement files being added, the warning comes up again. It's now blocking my comptuer from operating normally.


Thank in advance for your help.





  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,060 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2011 11:48 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    If you are backing up with Time Machine, note that the >20 GB worth of files that you deleted does not actually get removed until the next week.  See Missing disk space in Lion*.


    * Disclaimer: links to my pages may give me compensation, and should not be taken as endorsement of my services by Apple.

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,060 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2011 1:43 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    You say you're only using 50% of the storage capacity...  Does that mean that you had half the drive empty before installing Lion?  How big is the drive?  Unless it is extremely small, installing Lion by itself wouldn't have that effect.  Try a tool like OmniDiskSweeper or GrandPerspective to see where your space has gone, but don't delete anything unless you know what it is.  You may have a runaway log file, in which case you should open that log file and see what app is filling it up with messages.


    As to why you get the local backup even when you're backing up with an external drive...  that's just the way TM works now.  And it has actually saved me recently...  I emptied the trash via command-delete, thinking I was in the Finder, and instead deleted a couple months of e-mail that I hadn't filed.  (I never empty Mail's trash, and just file away the contents in an archive mailbox periodically.)  I hadn't backed up for nearly a week, yet thanks to the local backup combined with my Time Machine backup, I was able to restore every message that got lost.

  • Bob Howard Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2011 1:49 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    This might not solve your issue, but have you run the disk repair utility to see if it shows the partitions to be the appropriate sizes and containing the correct amounts of data?

  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (27,060 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 6, 2011 2:03 PM (in response to Rasuul)

    I understand what you're saying about TM, but I /just/ did a backup - it seems safe to say that once transferred tot he proper TM storage unit, that that info need no longer be doubled up on the hard disc . . . No?


    No.  In fact, relying only on a single Time Machine backup isn't particularly safe regardless.  If your data has real value, and it would be a serious problem if you lost it, you should have a minimum of two backups on completely separate media and on different media from the originals.  I have three separate hard drives, one with a TM backup and two with Carbon Copy Cloner backups, and one of the latter two is always in the safe deposit box at the bank.

  • Greg Quinn Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 20, 2011 7:56 AM (in response to Rasuul)

    Same thing for me, and no, this isn't a laptop (it's a quad core mac pro). Something in Lion is eating my disk space - had a full disk on a couple of occasions now. Really regret updating to lion.


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